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2025 Calendar Artist Revealed

January 22, 2024 at 8:51 am
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2025 Calendar Featuring Eddie Mendoza!

From Skagos to Qarth, the Water Gardens to the Nightfort, journey across Westeros and Essos with artist Eddie Mendoza, who brings us both new takes on some of the classic series locations as well as never-before-seen locales.  With thirteen stunning illustrations, including a bonus fold-out poster, experience the full majesty and sweeping vistas of the Seven Kingdoms and Essos.

And if you want to see more of Eddie’s amazing work check out his website.


Preorders are now available for Eddie Mendoza’s 2025 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar



Current Mood: pleased pleased

Amazing Animation

December 31, 2023 at 8:24 am
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There is so much on television these days, in the age of streaming, it is hard to keep up.  The days when we had only three networks, and we pretty much knew what was on each of them every night of the week  are long gone.   One thing is the same, though.  It is always a joy to stumble on a show that you haven’t seen before, a great show that just blows you away, that sinks its claws into you and won’t let go.

Parris and I found one  just last week; an animated series called BLUE EYE SAMURAI.

I hardly know where to start on this one.   Once we started watching it, we could not stop.   Binged the whole thing in three nights, and I am already hungry for the second season.   They are doing some amazing things with animation these days, as series like LOVE, DEATH, AND ROBOTS have shown… and this is coming from a kid who was weaned on the classic Disney features (my favorites being PINOCCHIO and DUMBO, but really, I loved them all — the originals, please, not these “live action” rehashes).   Even so, BLUE EYE SAMURAI has the most gorgeous art that I have ever seen.  The story is terrific as well.   Set in Japan during the Edo period, it is violent, visceral, sexy (and more than a little kinky in spots), with amazing action sequences and a cast of well-developed characters, colorful and complex and real.   Flawed heroes, villains who are more than cartoons (though they are cartoons, being drawn, after all).

It reminded me of some books I read… what was the title of that series, now?   Something about a song…

Ah, never mind…

BLUE EYE SAMURAI is very much its own thing, and it is magnificent.   Even if you don’t normally watch animation, give it a try.   It’s terrific.  If you like my own stuff, I think you’ll love it.

As it happens, HBO and I have our own animated projects, set in the world of A SONG OF ICE & FIRE.   None of them have been greenlit yet, but I think we are getting close to taking the next step with a couple of them.   When this last round of development started a few years back, we had four ideas for animated shows, with some great talents attached.   Writers rooms and summits, outline and scripts followed in due course… but, alas, two of the original projects were subsequently shelved.

(Those of you who have read my reports in years past may recall that I prefer to say “shelved” rather than “killed,” as nothing is ever dead for good in Hollywood, and a project put on the shelf one year can be taken off the shelf a few years later).   (( I still have hopes of presenting the stories that we shelved in another form, perhaps as graphic novels)).

Work on the other two animated projects continues apace, however…and meanwhile, we have moved NINE VOYAGES, our series about the legendary voyages of the Sea Snake, over from live action to animation.   A move I support fully.   Budgetary constraints would likely have made a live action version prohibitively expensive, what with half the show taking place at sea, and the necessity of creating a different port every week, from Driftmark to Lys to the Basilisk Isles to Volantis to Qarth to… well, on and on and on.   There’s a whole world out there.  And we have a lot better chance of showing it all with animation.   So we now have three animated projects underway.

Will any of them make it to air?  happen?   No way to know.   Nothing is certain in Hollywood.   But if it does happen, with one or two or all three shows, I hope we can make them  as good as gorgeous and gripping as  BLUE EYE SAMURAI.   We will for damn sure try.

A Couple of Rocks

December 23, 2022 at 5:37 pm
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So… about Casterly Rock…

The seat of House Lannister has been mentioned hundreds of times in the five published novels of A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, but the story has never actually gone there… yet.   Oh, from time to time Tyrion or Jaime or Cersei have thought back to something or other that happened at the Rock in years past, but aside from those memories and quasi-flashbacks we have never actually seen the Rock… or Lannisport, the city that has grown up near its feet.

This seems to have led to a certain amount of confusion as to what Casterly Rock looks like.

Let me put that to rest.

Here is Casterly Rock, as painted by Ted Nasmith for the Ice & Fire calendar for 2011, the “castle” calendar.  The same images were also used in the worldbook/ concordance THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE.  Nobody does castles better than Nasmith.   He and I consulted frequently when he was doing the art.   There are a few of the images that are not quite as I imagined them… but he absolutely NAILED Casterly Rock.

Take a look.   (And if you’d like to see a larger, crisper image, it’s there in the worldbook).

Lannisport is not in the image, you will note.   If this were a photograph rather than a painting, one could say that the picture was likely taken from the docks and/or city walls of Lannisport; the angle is correct.   This is just the Rock itself.

Ted got all the little details right.  The great stone stairway on the south face, in the shadow, leading up the Rock’s main entrance.   The sea gates at the base, large enough for galleys and cogs to sail into the caverns under the stone, where the Lannisters have their own (protected) docks.   The two rocky protrusions jutting out into the sea on either side of the caves; looked at from the south, they evoke a lion’s paws, and the Rock itself resembles a crouching lion, one of the inspirations for the heraldic imagery of the Lannisters and the Casterlys before them.  There’s also the watchtower on top of the Rock… and if you look very closely, here and there scattered up and down the face of the mount, you can see windows and arrow slits.   They seem small, but that is part illusion.   The Rock itself is very large.   Massive.

As I have mentioned in half a hundred interviews over the years, when I am doing my worldbuilding, I often start with some real world event or location, and “turn it up to 11.”   That’s a SPINAL TAP reference, of course, and maybe not precise.  In some cases I turn it up to 111, or 11,000.   The Wall, for instance.   Inspired by my visit to Hadrian’s Wall, but three times as long and way way taller, made of ice and magic.

The origins of Casterly Rock are somewhat similar.  This time my inspiration was the Rock of Gibraltar.

A depressing number of people only seem to know Gibraltar as the trademark for Prudential Insurance.

I grew up with that image myself.   But believe it or not, the Rock of Gibraltar is not just a stony version of the Geico Gekko.  It is a real place, a unique place, with thousands of years of history.  To the ancients it was one of the Pillars of Hercules (the other pillar is far less impressive), the gateway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic.   Today it is a British outpost at the bottom of Spain, one of the last remnants of an empire that once spanned the globe.   I visited there some years ago, on one of my tours through Spain and Portugal, and found the place just as fascinating in person as I had in print.   It’s the home of the Barbary apes, who will hop on your back and steal your hat and eyeglasses if you let them.   There are British pubs and fish-and-chip shops all over the town at the Rock’s foot, as well as some amazing Spanish restaurants.  And INSIDE the Rock… it’s not just a big hunk of stone, y’see… are 34 miles of tunnels, more than 150 halls, chambers, and caves, Napoleonic gunports and cannons looking out over land and sea, stalagmites and stalactites, World War II bunkers,  a concert hall/ ampitheatre, a hospital (WWII era), and ancient mines.

The Rock of Gibraltar is three miles long, seven-tenths of a mile wide, and almost 1400 feet high at its highest point.  (That’s twice as tall as the Wall, for those who want a Westerosi reference).

Casterly Rock is larger.   Two leagues long from west to east… that’s approximately six miles, compared to three for Gibraltar.  Its peak is about 2100 feet high, or about 700 feet higher than Gibraltar.   I am not certain I have ever given the width of Casterly Rock, but I’d venture to say that number is greater too, say around two miles north to south.   And inside?  Yes, the Lannister stronghold has all the passages, halls, stairs, caves, mines, galleries, tunnels, chutes, and wells that Gibraltar has… and more, and more, and more.   It is thousands of years older, after all.

Turned up to 11.   Or 11,000.

Here’s the most important part.  See that little watchtower on the Nasmith painting, up on top of the Rock?   That’s the only thing on top of the Rock.  And that’s as it should be.   (The maesters  keep their rookery up there).

The Lannister castle is not ON TOP of the Rock.  It is INSIDE the Rock.   All of it.   Barracks, armories, bedchambers, grand halls, servant’s quarters, dungeons, sept, everything.  That’s what makes the Rock the strongest and most impregnable seat in all of Westeros.   The Eyrie, Winterfell, Storm’s End, they all have formidable defenses… but none of them can match Casterly Rock.   When Harren the Black built Harrenhal, he thought his immense new castle could defy even dragons.   Stone does not burn, he reasoned.   But stone does melt, and dragons fly, and… well, you know the rest.   And Balerion’s flames proved hot enough to turn Harren’s massive towers molten.

But Casterly Rock is a mountain, and its chambers and halls are buried deep inside, under tons of solid stone.   No curtain wall in Westeros, however thick, can even come close.

What does this all mean?

Maybe nothing.   I just wanted to set the record straight.   Give you all something to think about.

(And maybe put an end to all these pictures of a little rock with a castle on top).

Casterly Rock will not remain forever offstage, I hope.   I have two more novels to go, and my plan is to have one or more of my viewpoint characters visit the Rock in THE WINDS OF WINTER or A DREAM OF SPRING, so I can show you all the wonders and terrors and treasures of House Lannister first hand.   Meanwhile, feel free to ponder… could Casterly Rock stand against dragons?

We know it can be taken by apes.

Current Mood: geeky geeky

You Will Never Guess What’s In-Store

February 26, 2021 at 11:05 am
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The wolf has meowed again.   This time in Las Vegas.

Omega Mart, the strangest supermarket in all the multiverse, has finally opened in Sin City, where it will be the anchor of the new Area 15 mall.  This is the second permanent installation from Meow Wolf, and tickets are available now.

If you are in Nevada, or close enough to visit, and would like to check out the Mart, do reserve ahead of time and get your tickets on line.    Just showing up at the door is not likely to work.  The opening is subject to Covid restrictions, which means they are limited (for now) to 25% capacity, I believe.   Sellouts will be the rule of the day for a while yet.   (And no, I have not seen the exhibit myself yet.  I am a long way from Las Vegas, in isolation in my mountain cabin, and this is not a good time for me to be travelling.   But I expect I will get there eventually).

So far, the reviews have been splendid.

Many of you reading this may have already seen Meow Wolf’s first permanent exhibit, the House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe.   Be assured, though Omega Mart is part of the same mythos (with more clues to the same underlying mysteries), it is elsewise completely different from the House.   This is not a Disneyland/ Disneyworld/ Euro Disney scenario, the same thing in a different place.   This is a major expansion… and the Vegas exhibit is larger than the original as well.  (And wait till you see what they are building in Denver!)

There are many more stories out there on the internet, for those who would like to know more.   Just Google.

Meanwhile, back home in the City Different, the House of Eternal Return remains shuttered for the foreseeable future, in compliance with New Mexico’s own pandemic restrictions.   When Meow Wolf will be clear to reopen we cannot say; that all depends on the pace of vaccination, I suppose.   My theatre, the Jean Cocteau Cinema, remains closed as well.   Next door Beastly Books is open only for mail order.   (But we have plenty of signed books for sale, if you would like to help support us.  Including all of my own titles).

Those of you in Vegas and environs, do check out the Omega Mart if you can… but please, do so safely.   Wear masks, and get your vaccinations as soon as your number is called.

Current Mood: geeky geeky

My Birthday Wolf

October 7, 2020 at 9:12 am
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As promised, here is a picture of the wonderful wolf that Parris gave me for my birthday.

The wolf is the work of artist Jim Eppler, whose sculptures are offered through Manitou Galleries on Palace Avenue in Santa Fe.

I have several other pieces by Eppler as well, all of ravens.   He has a whole set of ravens.   Those were gifts from Parris as well.

Love them all.


Current Mood: bouncy bouncy


Dates and Days and Dragons, Oh My

August 11, 2020 at 10:16 am
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They keep telling me that calendars are on their way out, that nobody uses them any more, that hip folks just check the day and date on their smart phones.   Maybe so, maybe so… but I am old school, and I love them, can’t help myself.  And I love great fantasy art as well, so our annual SONG OF ICE & FIRE illustrated calendar is one of my favorite things.

Every year we feature the work of a different artist, each one bringing their own unique vision to the Seven Kingdoms and my characters.   This year — well, next year, actually, the 2021 calendar — the paintings are the work of an amazing British artist named SAM HOGG… and damn, but they are gorgeous.


The calendar is now officially ON SALE, and available at your favorite local bookstore (if they are open) or online bookseller, or wherever fine calendars are sold.

If you’d like an autographed copy, we have them in stock at Beastly Books.   Write for details.   Those are signed by me, of course.

I believe that our amazing artist, Sam Hogg, also has some copies set aside, signed by her.

She’s in the UK, though, and I’m in the New Mexico, so getting one signed by both of us is… tough.

More of her work can be found at

twitter: @zephyri

Instagram: @thewhalergirl



Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

The Amazing John Picacio

June 19, 2020 at 8:37 am
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SFWA held its Nebula Awards ceremonies last week, and John Picacio, artist extraordinaire, was one of the winners of this year’s Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award… not for his art, but for his contributions to the science fiction and fantasy community.

I had the honor of presenting the award to John.   Well, that is to say, I had the virtual honor of presenting a virtual award to the virtual Picacio.

For all of you who could not be there — which is everyone, thanks to our friend Covid-19 — here is what I had to say:

Congratulations once again, John.    Very well deserved.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Artist Relief Tree

March 23, 2020 at 11:20 am
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A lot of people are going to need a lot of help in the wake of the coronavirus.

Among them will be many artists and writers, whose incomes are uncertain at the best of times.  No unemployment benefits for them.

My friends Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman have pointed me toward a website to assist creatives most in need: the Artist Relief Tree.

Check it out… and if your own circumstances allow, donate.   It’s for a grand cause.

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

All Hail Our Artists

June 2, 2019 at 8:04 am
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I am a lucky guy in a lot of ways… one of them being that I get to work with some of the greatest SF and fantasy artists in the world.

ASFA has just announced this year’s finalists for the Chesley Awards, and I’m thrilled to note that Wild Cards and A Song of Ice and Fire both have artists among this year’s finalists.

Michael Komarck has been doing spectacular Wild Cards covers for Tor for years now, with way too little recognition, so it’s great to see that his cover for LOW CHICAGO is a finalist for Best Cover Illustration, Hardcover.   Marko Kloos’s Khan is the featured character.

The redoubtable John Picacio has no fewer than three nominations on this year’s Chesley ballot… all great, but of course my favorite is the illustration he did for “EverNight,” a Wild Cards story by Victor Milan on   It’s been nominated for Best Interior Illustration.

John tells me he was especially pleased by this nomination.   “I want to celebrate Vic, and I want people to remember him and his story.”

I speak for the whole Wild Cards Consortium when I say how lucky we are to have amazing talents like John Picacio and Michael Komarck bringing our characters to life.

Meanwhile, that other series of mine is also well represented on the Chesley ballot, with a nomination for John Jude Palencar’s 2019 Ice & Fire calendar as Best Product Illustration.   You can see the cover here, but there’s a lot more stunning Ice & Fire art inside.  JJP is one of the premiere artists in the field, and a joy to work with.


The entire list of this year’s Chesley nominees can he found here:

Congratulations to all the nominees.   I love fantasy art, and it’s nice to see some great work being recognized.

(Signed copies of LOW CHICAGO and the 2019 Palencar calendar are both available from the bookstore at the Jean Cocteau Cinema.  Vic Milan’s “EverNight” can be found and read on, along with lots of other great Wild Cards stories).

Current Mood: happy happy

Clash of Kings Illustrated Edition

April 12, 2019 at 8:17 am
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We’re happy to be the first to show you the cover for Random House’s A Clash of Kings: The Illustrated Edition!

A stunning illustrated edition of the second book in the beloved A Song of Ice and Fire series, for fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones, published in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the book.

This special edition of A Clash of Kings–featuring a gracious forward by Bernard Cornwell and twenty-two gorgeous, original black-and-white illustrations by Lauren K. Cannon.

continues the series of anniversary releases of the iconic A Song of Ice and Fire novels that began with A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition.

on sale 11/5/2019



Current Mood: pleased pleased